How to Be a Great Owner to Your New Pet
By Jessica Brody
A new pet is a wonderful addition to any family, but fully committing your time and energy into making that pet a part of your life will change you both forever. It might not be easy, but it will be time well spent.
Introducing Your Pet to Your Home
It will take a little time for your new pet to get comfortable in his new home. It is most likely a completely foreign environment to him. Let your pet explore the safe areas of your house to get used to the different sights and smells.
Keep breakable items, or things your pet might eat or destroy, in higher areas out of reach of mischievous pets. Also move pesticides, household cleaners, and other poisons to secure areas where pets can’t find them.
Be aware of foods from your kitchen that might be dangerous for your pet. Try using child locks on cabinets and pantries to prevent pets from accessing foods that might make them sick. Don’t forget that the trash can should be out of reach as well.
Check your home for any other hazards or furniture that could injure or trap your pet. Doors and windows should close securely to prevent escape, and yard fences should be free from holes or gaps that could enable your pet to escape.
Set up some comfortable beds or zones for your pets to sleep in. You can use cushions, blankets, or a pet crate to create a safe, comfy spot for your pet to sleep or relax in. Your pet will go there when they need rest or privacy.
Keeping Your Pet Healthy
A healthy pet is a happy pet. Schedule regular vet checkups to stay current on vaccinations and other general care. Discuss food options for your pet and know that they can change with health issues or age.
Regular grooming can also keep your pet healthy. Nails, teeth, and skin should be taken care of to prevent any issues. They can also alert you to more serious health concerns.
As your pets age they may need more attention and care from you and your vet. Issues like arthritis, heart or kidney problems, or failing eyesight can make it difficult for your pet to do the same things as his younger counterparts. Some adjustments in your home, such as raising the levels of food bowls, can help your elderly pets do things more comfortably.
Bonding With Your Pet
Bonding with your pet is important, so make sure to set aside time every day to have fun with them. Whether it’s playing with toys, taking walks, or running around outside in the yard, your pet will appreciate the time spent with you.
When you can’t be there, make sure your pet has toys or activities to keep them entertained. They have a tendency to be less destructive if they don’t get hungry or bored while you are out of the house. If you need to be away a longer period of time, find a daycare or pet sitter to take them on walks or check in with them to make sure they get fed and played with while you are gone.
With care and patience, you can be a great pet owner and earn the love and loyalty of your pet for a lifetime.